Australian admits British Open loss still haunts him but has made him stronger.
Adam Scott stumbled on the verge of his first major title last year and lost the British Open, but how he has coped with that collapse has boosted his confidence that he can win the Masters.
The 32-year-old Australian will make his 12th start at Augusta National on Thursday in hopes of becoming the first Aussie to win the Masters, a jinx that includes epic near-misses by Greg Norman and Scott’s 2011 runner-up finish.
“It’s going to happen one day. We say it but it’s up to one of us to make it happen,” Scott said.
“I’ve certainly developed a real level of comfort with the golf course in the last three years, so I say that (an Australian will win the Masters) quietly confident that I believe I can make it happen one of these years.”
Scott had his grasp on last year’s British Open but finished with four bogeys in a row and lost by a stroke to Ernie Els, squandering his first major title but learning something about himself in the process.
“The first one that I really had my hands on, I let it go, so that will be something that I’ll never want to do again,” Scott said.
“But the more you’re up there, the more you’re going to win and the more you are going to lose and that’s something that you have to deal with. I didn’t dwell on it at all. I really just took the positives.
“It was nice for me to see the way I handled it — of course there was disappointment, but to see the big picture.
“I hope I contend in a lot more majors and I’m hopeful to win some. I don’t want to lose anymore, but it’s inevitable if you contend in a lot.”
Scott said it was not hard to put the defeat behind him quickly because he was playing the PGA Championship only a few weeks later, but the moment of truth came when he put himself in contention in last year’s Australian Masters.
“When I got in position to win again, that’s when it was gut-check time as a player, to not let it become a thing… that you struggle to close out a golf tournament.
“I don’t dwell on it at all. I just take the positives. It was great for me to play so well for so long.”
Scott believes in the idea of winner’s luck, but sees it as something out of his control rather than a concept he can influence.
“You need a little bit of winner’s luck,” Scott said. “Everyone who wins a tournament has it, but it’s not something you can make happen. I guess it just happens and when it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.
“That stuff, you can’t control, but I think the golfing gods sort all that kind of stuff out.”
Scott hopes they come down on the side of anchored-stroke putting, a style that has brought him consistency on the greens but one under threat by the sport’s rulemakers.
“I believe they are making a mistake,” Scott said. “They are going to do what they are going to do, I guess, and we will see how the other powers that be respond.”
Scott shared the 2011 Masters runner-up spot with countryman Jason Day and shared eighth last year, firing a final-round 66 that included a hole-in-one at the par-3 16th. He also shared third last month at Doral.
“Preparations are going well,” said Scott, who has not played the past three weeks. “Everything is in good shape. I feel like I’m ready to compete.”
Execution is what Scott sees as the last step to claiming a major victory.
“I feel like I’ve got all of the boxes ticked and it’s down to execution,” Scott said.
“A couple of times, I felt like I executed well enough to win and didn’t and that could be just golf or it could be something else that I haven’t quite got yet, I don’t know.”
Below are the pairings for the first round:
(All times local, four hours behind GMT, USA unless noted):
8:00 a.m.: Sandy Lyle (SCO), John Peterson, Nathan Smith
8:11: Larry Mize, Brian Gay, Russell Henley
8:22: Ian Woosnam (WAL), David Lynn (ENG), Kevin Na
8:33: David Toms, Richard Sterne (RSA), Ted Potter
8:44: Tom Watson, Ryan Moore, Kevin Streelman
8:55: Robert Garrigus, Carl Pettersson (SWE), Tim Clark (RSA)
9:06: Mike Weir (CAN), Lee Westwood (ENG), Jim Furyk
9:17: Brandt Snedeker, Ryo Ishikawa (JPN), Justin Rose (ENG)
9:28: Jose Maria Olazabal (ESP), Marc Leishman (AUS), TJ Vogel
9:39: Charl Schwartzel (RSA), Webb Simpson, Peter Hanson (SWE)
9:50: Zach Johnson, KJ Choi (KOR), Graeme McDowell (NIR)
10:12: Michael Thompson, John Huh, John Senden (AUS)
10:23: Stewart Cink, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL), Thaworn Wiratchant (THA)
10:34: Bubba Watson, Ian Poulter (ENG), Steven Fox
10:45: Tiger Woods, Luke Donald (ENG), Scott Piercy
10:56: Jason Day (AUS), Rickie Fowler, Padraig Harrington (IRL)
11:07: John Merrick, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN), DA Points
11:18: Craig Stadler, Ben Curtis, Michael Weaver
11:29: Mark O’Meara, Martin Laird (SCO), Jamie Donaldson (WAL)
11:40: Paul Lawrie (SCO), Thomas Bjorn (DEN), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (ESP)
11:51: Trevor Immelman (RSA), George Coetzee (RSA), Alan Dunbar (NIR)
12:02 p.m.: Open
12:13: Ernie Els (RSA), Steve Stricker, Nick Watney
12:24: Ben Crenshaw, Matteo Manassero (ITA), Guan Tianlang (CHN)
12:35: Bernhard Langer (GER), Lucas Glover, Henrik Stenson (SWE)
12:46: Vijay Singh (FIJ), Bo Van Pelt, Yang Yong-Eun (KOR)
12:57: Angel Cabrera (ARG), Sergio Garcia (ESP), Adam Scott (AUS)
1:08: Fred Couples, Dustin Johnson, Branden Grace (RSA)
1:19: Hunter Mahan, Hiroyuki Fujita (JPN), Francesco Molinari (ITA)
1:30: Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA), Martin Kaymer (GER)
1:41: Rory McIlroy (NIR), Keegan Bradley, Fredrik Jacobson (SWE)
1:52: Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Bill Haas